The decision to automate systems and processes has led to a reduction in expenditures and a significant increase in quality for manufacturers, research firms and companies specializing in warehouse distribution.

It's crucial to determine if technological investments like automation make financial sense for your business, regardless of trends. Below you'll find seven indicators that may point to your company’s need to automate.

1.) Constant Production Challenges

Implementing an automated system can result in increased production efficiency and the expanded capacity that will allow for servicing large contracts.

2.) High Labor Costs

Liability and employee safety in the workplace are critical issues in many food processing and manufacturing jobs, leading to high personnel turnover and increased labor costs. Automation has the ability to provide a safer workplace. 

3.) Constantly Being Outbid

Innovative technology, like automation, can be a differentiating factor for firms when competing for potential large contracts. Automation proves that it is, in fact, possible to produce products or services at low costs while maintaining higher quality than overseas competitors.

4.) New Market Opportunities

Automation can enable expansion into new markets for companies currently servicing one industry with only one product or a few products.

5.) Excessive Waste

Automation enables companies in pursuit of lean manufacturing objectives to reduce wasted materials, time, and effort with flexible systems. 

6.) Increasing Need for Precision in Assembly

Miniaturization is increasingly impacting assembly lines across industries. Automated systems using advanced sensors can provide ultra-precise assembly solutions for your business.

7.) Need for Employee Empowerment

Employees still have the ability to be involved with tasks by programming robots and using them as assistants, known as "cobots." This provides ongoing employee ownership of the task at hand and boosts morale.

If one or more of the above signs is evident in your business, it may be time to take a hard look at implementing automation.

Michael Lee is the Managing Director of Quality Deployment. He can be reached at insights@qdbve.com.

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